I grew up milking cows in Central Maine. It was a great life for a kid, but I prefer getting my milk in the dairy section today.
The dairy farmer’s path to success:
#1. Short naps:
Dairy farmers fall asleep when they sit down.
Take power-naps if you’re tired.
Naps improve performance. (NYTimes)
Long naps make you sluggish. Power-naps (15 to 20 minutes) re-energize.
#2. Unalterable certainties:
Cows are milked twice a day. That never changes!
Build your day around unalterable certainties.
I didn’t enjoy milking cows, but it had to be done and it governed our schedule. When you complete a daily task – like milking the cows – it sets you free to attack other projects.
An unalterable certainty in the afternoon guides the way you plan your day.
#3. Steady on:
I asked a farmer how he was doing and he said, “Steady on.”
You never see a farmer running around like a chicken with its head cut off. (Apologies to chickens.)
Days are long on the farm, so you pace yourself. Medium speed allows you to work all day.
Frantic work is never your best work.
#4. Schedule fun:
Fun means more when there’s always too much work to do.
A dairy farmer’s vacation happens between 10 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Plan fun or it won’t get done.
Plan fun or you end up working all the time.
#5. Preventative measures:
My grandfather meticulously serviced equipment after he finished using it. Preventative measures are preparation for future work.
Strong relationships are preventative measures.
If you wait until you need a relationship to build it, it’s too late.
Service your relationships. What preventative measures might make your relationships stronger?
Strong relationships enable future results.
Which of the dairy farmer’s path to success seems most relevant to you today?
What principles or practices from farm life might enhance organizational success?